Canadian Hand Made Gifts & Souvenirs From Coast to Coast
Greetings! :

Summer is always a fun & exciting time for us at Cornerstone. We are always amazed how people from all over the wold find us! And even more exciting, is that we have customers who make it a point to come in and see us every time they come to visit Kingston. When I was at the store this past Saturday, it was lovely to meet some of these fine folks and to hear them commenting on how beautiful everything is and how great the customer service is. I congratulate my staff on their amazing display skills as well as their ability to connect with customers in spite of language barriers. There are lots of broken language attempts and hand gestures, yet everyone seems to be happy in the end. Happy to take back home, a little piece of Canada. We would be nothing without the great Canadian artists and crafts people who allow us to share their work. We are so grateful to them and happy to lead the charge on the "Buy Canadian" front, as we have been encouraging people to do that for years! When you see such happy customers and hear their comments it makes it all with while.

So let's see what is happening in August for us....
Lots of new pieces are arriving daily! We have new waxed linen jewelry from Moth Jewelery and lots of beautiful beads & crystals and stones from Jewels By Jules. We have a stunning assortment of Jewelry from Kim Price, who incorporates bits and pieces from countries all over the world to create very unique pieces that have that "global feel". We have a much needed and long awaited delivery of bags from Matteo Mio. Start your fall season (yes I said FALL) off right, with a new bag for your new look. Stunning bowls from Michael Sbrocca, (I have my eye on one...) and lovely serving boards from Gary Kennell have arrived making wedding gift shopping a snap! We have also taken on two new potters, Susan Robertson from Outlook Saskatchewan & Parsons Deitrich from Moosejaw Saskatchewan whom I think will round out those we already have, Ashburn Pottery & Gabriel Kauffman. Works rom our new potters will be arriving shortly. We have a new selection of windswept trees by Cathy Marks, who is right around the corner from me in Valencia by Little Britain. We also just received an order from our customer's favourite, Basic Spirit Pewter from Pugwash nova Scotia.

Featured artist for August is our very own Sue Steffes. It's such a pleasure not only having Sue on staff and helping customers with her cheerfulness but to have her work here at Cornerstone. Sue does wet felting and her creations are beautiful and carefully thought out. It's been fun watching her work evolve and see her flourish. Her work will be on the feature wall for the month of August.

Don't forget to sign up for our scratchboard art class with Lori Dunn on Sunday September 23, from 10:00 AM - 5 PM. Lori is the premier scratchboard artist. Her work is sought after by collectors everywhere. The materials are included in the course fee, as is lunch and some light refreshments (tea/coffee & cookies!). Lunch will be at Score Pizza where you can build your pizza EXACTLY the way you like it! Thanks Joel at Score Pizza for agreeing to host our hungry artists! The fee for the class is $135.00 and there are only 8 spots available so call in and sign up!!!

August is also the time where Lisa & I hit the gift show to see what will be happening for the CHRISTMAS (yes I said it) holidays. We will have a few more surprises up our sleeves in the months ahead. If you are looking for something specific let us know and we will see what we can find! We are always open to new ideas.
If you haven't been to the store in a while, get out of your air-conditioning (we have some!) and get down to the store and check out all the beautiful work our great Canadian artists are creating. You won't be disappointed.

There is still time to vote for us for the Attractions Ontario award. Voting is daily until September. Show your love by making Cornerstone your favourite Top Small Museum, Art Gallery/Historic Site.

The summer continues to be HOT! Remember we will be a part of the No Hot Pets program again this year. Please DO NOT leave animals (or CHILDREN) in the car. We allow you to bring your leashed pet (or a pet in a stroller) into the store instead of leaving them in a hot car. We are also a partner of the water bottle refill program so we will refill water bottles and pet bowls too! Animals are afraid of fireworks so please be mindful of pets when you are celebrating long weekends. The last thing you want is to be searching for a pet that's bolted outside at night because it's afraid. Be mindful too that fireworks frighten our natural wildlife as well.

From our heart you yours,
Penny & the wonderful staff at Cornerstone

P.S.
For those of you wondering how my cottage reno is progressing, I am happy to report I have some walls up! Dry wall has been applied to the upstairs and that means I will be able to hang out there in a week for the first time in 3 summers! I am beyond excited to be a step closer to the finish line and while that maybe a long ways off, I will be happy to go with the kitties and release my own creativity! Watch out world!
ZIA piece
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Photo of the sunset at my cottage taken by neighbour & friend,
Suzanne Alden Brown
Featured Artist - Sue Steffes Wet Felting
Born in Alberta, I spent a great deal of my childhood engaged in creative pursuits, often deriving inspiration from the prairie landscapes that I spent countless hours exploring. Wandering through the fields and forest, I loved to create art from the tall prairie grasses and whatever other materials I found.
In 2009, I fortuitously sat in on a felting workshop renewing my interest in playing with fibre and fibre techniques. Felt making seemed like pure magic. An ancient craft, it has been used by many cultures throughout the world for functional items and art. Embracing this art with great excitement and curiosity, I continued to fearlessly explore the medium on my own. In 2014, I completed studies in fibre arts to further develop my skills as an artist and expand my media repertoire.
New Class Sunday September 23
Do you know what scratchboard art is? Until recently I didn't either! That was until I ran into the most amazing and talented Lori Dunn. In a past life, Lori was a zookeeper and her love of animals shows in the amazing and highly detailed pieces she creates using scratchboard.


What is Scratchboard?
Scratchboard art is a form of direct engraving on a specially prepared board. The boards consists of three layers of material. The base is hardboard that has a layer of white kaolin clay applied to it. The clay is then sanded smooth and a layer of black ink is applied over top. The image is etched one “scratch” at a time using an extremely fine tool such as a scalpel or exacto blade. The black is removed to reveal the white clay beneath.

It is one of the only forms of two dimensional media that is subtractive, as material is removed rather than added. Artists must work in reverse of classical artistic training in that they are rendering highlighted areas only. Tonal variations are achieved by the depth of etching as well as how much surface area is removed.

Many hours are spent on each scratchboard artwork and they may take months to complete. Lori Dunn uses professional grade clayboards that are completely archival, of museum quality and highly resistant to fading from sunlight. Finished works are sprayed with a UV resistant varnish to further protect the image.

Scratchboard produces unique works of art with a level of realism and detail that is unsurpassed by many other media. The absorbent clay can be colored afterwards using specialized inks or paints but many people prefer the simplicity and beauty of the black and white image. 


The Fee for this all day class is $135.00 and will include materials and lunch at a Score Pizza! The class will run from 10:00 AM sharp to 4:00 pm (be prepared to go a little over and stay until 5:00 PM if we need some extra time) There are only 8 spaces available for this amazing class. To register please call the store at 613-546-7967 and have your credit card handy or come to the store and pay in cash or debit. I already know that I will be participating in this event so that leaves 7 openings!!! I expect this class to fill up quickly as Lori is in demand at many places to teach her techniques. Don't miss out!!!
Just In!
We are sharing some tantalizing pics of some of the beautiful New arrivals. Shopping Canadian has never been more important, more necessary and more BEAUTIFUL!!!
Ontario Choice Awards


Once again, we are honoured to be a finalist in the Attractions Ontario Choice Awards 2018 (small museum/art gallery/historic site) category. Voting happens from April 27 - September 30, 2018. You can vote for us once every 24 hour period so please make sure that you place us on your list of things to do daily! I cannot tell you how honoured we would be to win this award! Not only would it be good for us, but it would also be another great reason to come and experience Kingston with all it's fabulous shopping and wonderful restaurants.
Oh Canada!
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It goes without saying that we are polite, (sorry) helpful people noted for our maple leaf, maple syrup and moose! We are also known for hockey, basketball and beer! But we are so much more than that. But on a lighter note, I have dug up a few MORE "Canadianisms" that try to explain a few things about us. Feel free to share them !

l oonie
A dollar. The Canadian $1 coin has a loon (the bird) on one side.
toonie
Two dollars. The Canadian $2 coin is gold-coloured in the middle, with a silver-coloured ring around the outside. It takes its name from the $1 coin, the loonie, and adds its value, two, to form "twonie" or, more easily read, "toonie". A polar bear is on one side of this coin.
pogey
Unemployment benefits. "I'm getting pogey" means, as the British would say, "I'm on the dole."
serviette
French for "napkin". This term is used by anglophones as well as francophones.
washroom
bathroom
housecoat
robe, bathrobe
chesterfield
A couch or sofa.
poutine
Québecois specialty. French fries covered in cheese curds and gravy. 
Shreddies
A brand of breakfast cereal, vaguely resembling Chex in the United States.
Smarties
Not the ones like in the United States. In Canada, Smarties are a candy resembling M&Ms. They do melt in your hand, and they're a lot sweeter. 
Kraft Dinner, or KD
macaroni and cheese.
back bacon
Canadian bacon. Sometimes rolled in peameal.
brown bread
Whole wheat bread. If you are at a diner for breakfast and you ask for whole wheat toast, they'll understand you, but "brown toast" is a lot more Canadian.
homo milk
Homogenized milk. Known in the United States as whole milk. 
whitener
powdery stuff to put into coffee or tea. Called "non-dairy creamer" in the United States.
whipping cream
heavy cream to the folks in the United States.
coriander
cilantro to the folks in the United States.
cooking onions
yellow onions to the folks in the United States.
butter tart
a delicious pie-like pastry cup with a butter, brown sugar, raisins, and nuts filling.
Nanaimo bars
a rich brownie like base with a custard cream layer topped with chocolate. Named for the city in British Columbia.
lineup
a line.... "There was a really long lineup for tickets to last night's hockey game."
icing sugar
powdered sugar
table (verb)
to bring up for discussion, as in a session of Parliament.
Robertson screws
Screws (for metal or wood) with a square hole in the top rather than a straight or X-shaped one. They'd be popular in the States except that Henry Ford wanted exclusive rights to them, and Robertson (the inventor, a Canadian) refused to sell.
May Two-Four
The nickname of Victoria Day, Queen Victoria's birthday, May 24th.
toque
A kind of wintertime hat.
"The States"
The United States of America. Canadians hate referring to the United States as "America", because Canadians are just as much (North) Americans as citizens of the United States are.
"chip trucks"
These are like the van driven by the ice cream man, only they sell French fries. They are most ubiquitous on the roads to "cottage country."
metric measurements
No, the temperature does not drop fifty degrees when you cross the border from the United States! Centimetres, not inches; kilometres, not miles; metres, not yards, etc.
French  and  English
The Government of Canada is one of the rare federal governments in the world to be completely bilingual.
milk containers
Milk comes in plastic bags as well as in cartons and jugs
hockey gear
A guy can get onto a bus wearing goalie pads, a helmet - everything but the skates - and nobody gives him a second look.
riding
Elected officials represent the people of their riding - also known as electoral districts.
Trans-Canada Highway
Canada's equivalent to the Interstate highways - is two lanes wide for most of its length. And there are huge, wide highways around the major cities. The 401 north of Toronto is twelve lanes wide in places and has recently overtaken some major highways in Los Angeles as the busiest road on the continent.
gas stations
  • Esso (instead of Exxon)
  • Petro Canada
  • Irving (only in eastern Canada)
  • Canadian Tire
  • Husky
department stores
  • The Bay (the Hudson's Bay Company, the oldest company in North America and possibly the world - it was incorporated on May 2, 1670)
banks
  • Toronto Dominion
  • Bank of Montreal
  • RBC Royal Bank
  • The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
beers
Molson and Labatt are the dominant brands and they are a lot stronger than U.S. beers.
bookstores
  • Coles
  • Chapters 
  • Indigo
doughnut shops
Tim Horton's  - named after the hockey player who started the chain - are common everywhere.
weather conversations
Virutally any conversation will inevitably include a brief discussion of the weather - it is such a dominant force in Canadians' lives.
potato chips
They come in flavours such as salt and vinegar, ketchup, and "all dressed" (a collection of just about all possible seasonings - the person who suggested this one likened it to a "suicide slush" in the States).
the cottage (Central Ontario)
Every weekend during the summer, southern Ontarians go in droves from Toronto and its environs to their second homes (ranging from campers to great big houses with all the amenities) in the "cottage country" of Muskoka and the Haliburton Highlands.
the camp (Northern Ontario)
Northern Ontario's version of the cottage.
cottage country (winter style)
Every weekend during the winter, the cottage country people go back to cottage country to go snowmobiling. Gas stations are just as likely to be filling snowmobiles as cars or trucks.
the chalet (Quebec)
Every weekend during the summer, southern Quebeckers go in droves from Montreal and its environs to their cottage country (usually the Laurentians; the Eastern Townships; Burlington, Vermont; Lake Champlain, New York; or Plattsburgh, New York). 
the cabin (British Columbia, Newfoundland & Labrador)
"The cabin" is where British Columbians head to on the weekends, not the cottage. Canadian author Charles Gordon wrote an entire book on this phenomenon - it's all the same place but called differently in different parts of the country. "The cottage", "the lake", etc. but in B.C., it's only "the cabin".
block heaters
Cars have electrical plugs sticking out from under the hoods to prevent engines from freezing when it's -40!
British spelling
Canadians tend to write about "colour," "cheques," "theatres," and so forth. Most Canadians use the American "-ize" rather than the British "-ise" verb ending, however.
zed
Most Canadians will tell you that this is how the last letter of the alphabet is pronounced, not zee. 
Bloody Caesar
It's just like a Bloody Mary, except it's made with Clamato juice instead of plain tomato juice.
eh
Canadians often end sentences with "eh" and many studies have looked into this phenomenon. It is generally agreed that Canadians do it because they are polite. The "eh" is an invitation for the listener to participate in the conversation opposed to the speaker simply stating fact after fact.
b'y
Newfoundlanders have many colloquialisms but this one, I'm told, is their version of "eh". Actually a contraction of "boy", it appears quite regularly in speech and is most commonly known from the sea shanty "I's the b'y that builds the boat, I's the b'y that sails her...."
Winnie the Pooh
In August, 1914, Lieutenant Harry Colebourn, a Veterinary Officer with the 34th Fort Garry Horse of Manitoba, was travelling by train from his home in Winnipeg to enroll in the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps in Valcartier, Quebec.

Travelling by Canadian Pacific Railway, he had to change trains at White River Bend in Ontario, where he noticed a man further along the station platform with an American black bear cub tied to the arm of the bench on which he was seated.

He struck up a conversation and, learning that the man was a trapper who had shot and killed the cub's mother, Colebourn offered him $20 for the young bear -- the trapper eagerly accepted the offer and the cub was taken to Quebec, where she became the mascot of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade.

In December 1914,the 2nd Brigade was preparing to move to France in great secrecy. Colebourn decided it was unsafe to take her into battle; so, while passing through London on the way to France on December 9th, 1914, he visited London Zoo and asked them to care for the cub until his return, which he optimistically anticipated would be no longer than two weeks.

Of course, 'that war to end all wars' was not to end so quickly. It was not until 1918 that Colebourn returned safely to London. Realising that the bear, now known affectionately by her keepers and visitors as Winnie, was happy and content in her new home, he decided to leave her there.

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